Ongoing investigations of sites within our National Conservation Lands in the Southwest and southern California are uncovering evidence of cultures and traditions dating back thousands of years. These sites are providing a one-of-a-kind opportunity to research, study, and assess how these different cultures lived and adapted. Something new is being found all the time. Yet, most have never heard about these efforts, let alone the sites and the cultural treasures they contain.
One unit within the National Conservation Lands, Canyons of the Ancients in Colorado, has been focal point of these research efforts. It has by far the greatest known concentration of archeological sites in the nation – 6,400 so far — including cliff dwellings, villages, great kivas, and rock art. But it is not alone.